Monday, June 26, 2006

Shoe Fetish Comics Ad-1977

I’m not sure who wrote or drew this ad found on the back cover of many comic books in 1977 ( a couple poses seem familiar but could be swipes) but I guarantee you that someone involved in its creation had a shoe fetish. On the surface level, this ad bears some resemblance to the well-remembered Hostess ads from the same era but instead of an established character to hawk their product, the Intermark Shoe Company invented their own-the AAU Shuperstar. Seriously. Shuperstar. First of all, because of the ridiculous spelling this attempted pun makes the hero sound tipsy! The ad itself is typical. In six panels it’s established that an evil guy is attempting to destroy the world. Why? Not important. We only have six panels, remember? Anyway, the hero arrives, stops him and is thanked by the public at large. Okay, now let’s look at this a tad closer, okay? To be blunt, there are no less than 17 foot or shoe references in those 6 panels not counting repeat references! 17! The evil villain, Missile-Toe, claims to have enough poison in his boots to destroy the world. The AAU Shuperstar (cringe!) swooooshes in, zaps him with some kind of unexplained foot rays that light up the sky, then kicks him causing him somehow to completely vanish from existence. All the while, he is being taunted by the so-called hero who tells him to "Kiss my foot!" Finally, and presumably after Shuperstar (shiver) had completely killed the baddie, two young children arrive to worship the haughty looking so-and-so, giving full credit to him and his shoes for saving the world. The fine print tells us that the product is "available in fine department, shoe and specialty stores everywhere." Now what exactly is the message here? That AAU shoes can save the world? That it’s okay to kill the bad guys? That other kids will look up to you if you wear AAU shoes? That you can publicly tout your shoe fetish and still be loved? Who knows? Did the AAU Shuperstar (UGH!) return in other ads? Is this shoe company even still around? With ads like these, I’d be surprised.


Rick Phillips said...

I remember seeing this ad. I got a "kick" out of seeing the bad guy shooting from his boots and being called Missile-Toe. I never did see another ad. Nor did I see the shoes for sale anywhere. Still it was a funny ad in a camp sort of way.

Dulaney said...

I actually had a pair of AAU tennis shoes around 1979-81 (Remembered the logo from the comics), but mine were a bit more like Keds than the classic "nylon" Nike/Trax style shoes in the ad.